Verse > Anthologies > Jessie B. Rittenhouse, ed. > The Second Book of Modern Verse
Jessie B. Rittenhouse, ed. (1869–1948).  The Second Book of Modern Verse.  1922.
Spring in Carmel
George Sterling
O’ER Carmel fields in the springtime the sea-gulls follow the plow.
  White, white wings on the blue above!
  White were your brow and breast, O Love!
    But I cannot see you now.
  Tireless ever the Mission swallow        5
  Dips to meadow and poppied hollow;
  Well for her mate that he can follow,
    As the buds are on the bough.
By the woods and waters of Carmel the lark is glad in the sun.
  Harrow! Harrow! Music of God!        10
  Near to your nest her feet have trod
    Whose journeyings are done.
  Sing, O lover! I cannot sing.
  Wild and sad are the thoughts you bring.
  Well for you are the skies of spring,        15
    And to me all skies are one.
In the beautiful woods of Carmel an iris bends to the wind.
  O thou far-off and sorrowful flower!
  Rose that I found in a tragic hour!
    Rose that I shall not find!        20
  Petals that fell so soft and slowly,
  Fragrant snows on the grasses lowly,
  Gathered now would I call you holy
    Ever to eyes once blind.
In the pine-sweet valley of Carmel the cream-cups scatter in foam.        25
  Azures of early lupin there!
  Now the wild lilac floods the air
    Like a broken honey-comb.
  So could the flowers of Paradise
  Pour their souls to the morning skies;        30
  So like a ghost your fragrance lies
    On the path that once led home.
On the emerald hills of Carmel the spring and winter have met.
  Here I find in a gentled spot
  The frost of the wild forget-me-not,        35
    And—I cannot forget.
  Heart once light as the floating feather
  Borne aloft in the sunny weather,
  Spring and winter have come together—
    Shall you and she meet yet?        40
On the rocks and beaches of Carmel the surf is mighty to-day.
  Breaker and lifting billow call
  To the high, blue Silence over all
    With the word no heart can say.
  Time-to-be, shall I hear it ever?        45
  Time-that-is, with the hands that sever,
  Cry all words but the dreadful “Never”!
    And name of her far away.


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